SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Sammy Guevara defeated Andrade El Idolo and Darby Allin to retain the TNT Championship: HIT
Very good television match, made even better by the crowd. However, entrances and an actual main event spot would have made this feel much more special.
Additionally, the fact that AEW thinks Sting wrestling is more worthy of being on a PPV instead of a TNT title defense further defines down the championship. I understand they want to give Sting the pay day, and at this moment, he is a bigger draw than that belt, but you’re not going to build your championship’s prestige with short-term thinking.
After the match, Guevara offered Darby Allin a handshake, but Allin refused. Stereotypical tension between makeshift tag partners going into a PPV.
Death Triangle in-ring promo: HIT
Alex Abrahantes, in a new, dark persona, challenged the House of Black to a three-on-three match at the PPV. House of Black “teleported” in to assault them, but Erick Redbeard came out to even the odds. Security tried to break things up, but Redbeard laid them all out.
Well, who expected Erick Redbeard to show up and be featured this strong? And what’s his connection to Death Triangle? I’m not holding my breath for an explanation. At best, they will probably reference some obscure connection from another promotion. At worst, they did just for the pop.
Peta is good in this evolved character, but Alex looks like a little kid living out his Halloween fantasy. Maybe he’ll grow on me with time.
Scorpio Sky and Dan Lambert Backstage Promo: IT HAPPENED
Lambert made an announcement that Sky would face Guevara for the TNT championship next week on Dynamite, and Page VanZant would sign her AEW contract at the Revolution PPV.
If you remember last week’s promo, Lambert mentioned he could only get Sky a chance to qualify for a Face of the Revolution ladder match. Tonight, they tried explaining that Lambert re-negotiated the deal, and honestly, it’s probably for the best. It makes sense for Sky to receive a title shot, given his record. They built it up for far too long on Rampage before suddenly forgetting about it, and it would have been stupid to not deliver a match.
Keith Lee defeated JD Drake: HIT
Extended squash for Lee. Crowd was hot for him.
Post-Match Brawl: MISS
After the match, Lee was attached by Drake’s entourage but he laid them out. Team Taz slowly made their way to the ring to attack, but Orange Cassidy stopped them. This made Team Taz look like losers.
C.M. Punk Backstage Promo after the attack last week: MAJOR HIT
We got a go-home promo from Punk and it was brilliant and compelling. Go out of your way to watch this.
Jade Cargill and Mark Stirling Backstage Interview: MISS
Stirling talked about the clause I the TBS title match contract that Conti couldn’t touch her. Apparently, that expired today because Anna Jay came to remind them of that and then Conti kicked Cargill from behind. The lesson here is Mark Stirling is a bad lawyer, ad he didn’t read the fie print twice ow: once for MJF, ow for Cargill. That, I tur, makes Cargill look bad.
This was needlessly convoluted just to give Conti a modicum of momentum going into the PPV. Another “miss” for a Cargill segment, ad the common denominator is Mark Stirling. He’s not a top-tier performer, ad they don’t give him the type of content that makes for a credibly devious heel meager.
Serena Deeb defeated Leila Grey in “The Professor’s 5-Minute Challenge”: HIT
Very good performance from Deeb, as always.
Post-Match Angle with Hikaru Shida: HIT
Hikaru Shida ran out and beat up Deeb with a Kendo stick. This was really cool, and felt very satisfying because we’ve seen this rivalry build up on television over many weeks.
Eddie Kingston Backstage Interview: 50-50
Kingston playing into Jericho’s “insider” stuff at the beginning of the promo was pathetic. The rest of the promo was fine.
Main Event Promo: MINOR HIT
Ethan Page and Christian were both good, apart from the “transitional champion” lie, but this match really didn’t need to be the main event.
Overall Show: HIT
This episode was more fast-paced than last week, believe it or not. I have to give it a “HIT” for the Punk promo, Shida return, and hot crowd, but I seriously doubt much of this is going to stick. In comparison to WWE, AEW has a much stronger undercard, but by its own merits, the pace of the shows can stifle the strong stuff. Be careful.